Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 20 - October 26, 2015 "Sister Graham Style..."

      My dearest readers, 

Yup, another one of my favorite quotes from Constatine in English Club. 
So we all know that I talk with my hands all the time. I couldn't stop to save my life. 
Whelp my lovely district has been pointing it out all the time. 
Then Constatine started doing an impression of "Gangnam Style", 
but instead sang "Sister Graham Style." Man, I love Russians haha.

My district for last cycle and this cycle!! 

So I will be staying here in Balakova with Sister Hansen. WOO!!!! Man, 
when you and your companion just love each other, it's truly like one big fat sleepover. 
We have so much fun together. We also work our butts off as well. 
We are glad to have had that last cycle as a time of refining 
and molding us into better missionaries.

Our fav ice cream in Russia!

Now, we hope for this cycle to be a time of kicking butt! 
We are so pumped to be instruments in the hands of the Lord. It's not going to be easy. 
None of it has. Honestly, it can be really hard. We have really nice people here, and not so nice. 
But it's our job to give everyone the opportunity to hear the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 
If you see any missionaries, wherever you are, say hi. Give them a chance to talk to you. 
Tell them that they are doing a great job. Maybe give them a snack or two (we love food).

On our way to Saratov for Conference 

Last week or so, I gave a quote from conference that I really liked. 
Here is a better more updated version: 
"What you have right no is not enough for the work that lies ahead. 
We don't need to be perfect. We just have to be good at getting better!" 
This quote is from Kim B.Clark in the Sunday Afternoon Session of General Conference.

Rockin' our fall looks 

I'm going on my first visa trip tomorrow. We are going to the Riga, Latvia airport. 
First we go to Samara, then Moscow, then Riga. Then reverse. 
It's a 23-hour trip of flying and lay-overs. It will be pretty cool to go out and about for a little bit. 
Sister Hansen has a visa trip with me. She'll finally meet my original district! 
I'll be seeing my dearest Sister Thomas from the MTC. I cannot wait to see her. 
I've missed her and my first district so much!!! I'll be spending most of this time studying, 
talking to people, and writing letters.

Me & The Fall

What has helped me cast out doubt and fears 
is getting on my knees and praying fervently for help. 
I distinctly remember doing this last week, and then it hit me. 
The Lord can work no miracle in me, 
if I am constantly going about not appreciating all the blessings He has already given me. 
I now find myself pleading for help, then expressing gratitude 
for all the miracles we have witnessed and praying for others around me. 
It has helped so much! I must admit, I had a slight feeling of disappointment 
when I found out I would be staying in Balakova. I let the difficulty of the area get to me.

Me & my Russian BOM
"The grass is always greener on the other side." Or maybe for me, 
"The field is always whiter in the other city." 
The Lord has promised us that EVERY area has a baptism. 
Every missionary has the opportunity to find, teach, and baptize. 
I am determined to be an instrument in the Lord's hand for the people here in Balakova. 
I want to love this area and be devastated when I have to leave. 
I know as I do all the things the Lord and this mission asks of me, 
then I will receive these great blessings 
and become like the sons of Mosiah and Alma the younger.

We found this place with cool tree lights 

The Lord is truly pouring out His Spirit on Balakova. We have witnessed so many miracles! 
While Lena was not baptized on Saturday, we discovered that people on the streets 
were just so much nicer to us. We've met some great children of God. 
We are working really hard to prove worthy of the Spirit of the Lord. 
We even got a baptismal date from that same potential investigator 
I called from the area book last cycle! We still have a lot of work to do, 
but I am confident that the Lord is softening the hearts 
of the people here and our hearts as well.

KFC With Sister Leavitt!! She is so great!

Also, I gave my first talk in sacrament yesterday! I was so nervous!!!! Luckily, 
each member of the branch is so loving and understanding. 
I spoke on why God gives us commandments. 
At length I came to the conclusion that God gives commandments 
because He is our loving Heavenly Father who desperately wants us to return to Him. 
This is His work and glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. 
Once we realize the characteristics of God, 
we will understand that every commandment is for our good and is from a loving, 
all-knowing Father. 

Whelp out of time, but Christmas is in two months!!! How did time fly? Isn't it still summer? 
The rain and snow would tell me otherwise. Stay beautiful and kind and lovely!!!

Sister Howe and Sister Hansen ft. a blue jacket and fur.  

Fun fact: You never notice how many people wear pants 
until all you can wear are skirts and dresses.

The first and probably only time we've worn pants in public 

Much love, 
Cectpa Graham

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